One of the most devasting injuries seen in auto wreck cases are those who become quadriplegic. The standard dictionary definition is a paralysis of the arms and legs, but it is much much more. For those involved in auto crashes, if your sustain a fracture of the spinal cord at a certain level, you may become a quadriplegic. Depending on how and where the spinal cord is affected may cause some to become a paraplegic, a paralysis of the legs and lower part of the trunk. These injuries, along with brain and burn injuries, are among the most horrific types of injuries that doctors treat. The are most often caused by auto collisions, however, doctors at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia told me they see a dramatic upturn in these injuries once the swimming pool season begins. There are also the more familar, but less frequent, football and sports injuries, for example, Superman Christopher Reeves had an accident involving a horse. The focus on these series of articles will be to examine the causes of quadriplegia, how safer cars can help, how effective are the hospitals that specialize in rehabilitaton, the medical aspects, and finally, what the long term prognosis can be. Many, but not of these injuries can be prevented by auto manufacturers making safer cars and safer passenger restraint systems.
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